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India

India travel bristles with an air of the exotic, thanks to the billion people of varying ethnic groups who create an intoxicating cultural cocktail.

India's in-your-face diversity can be found among snow-capped mountains and sun-kissed beaches, tranquil temples and dusty villages. From grand vestiges of the Raj in New Delhi to the rich cultural heritage of the former maharajas in royal Rajasthan, India bustles, shuffles and delights.

The Golden Triangle is India's most popular tourist circuit and a perfect introduction to the country, while India's south abounds with beautiful landscapes, colonial architecture, lush jungles, ruined forts, centuries-old churches and lavish basilica.

For the spiritual seeker Tamil Nadu is India's temple heartland, while Varanasi is one of the oldest cities in the world and certainly India's holiest.


WEXAS Travel brochure for India

WEXAS Top 50 Worldwide Journeys

Our in depth guide packed with background information, sample itineraries designed by our experts and hand-picked suggestions for what to see and do, where to stay and when best to go.


When to go

Broadly speaking, India is defined by three seasons, the hot, the wet and the cool. The coolest and most pleasant time to visit is after the monsoon is over, from October to March. That said, Rajasthan, which stays largely dry in the monsoon (loosely May to September) is worth considering in the off-season as hotels are better value and attractions are quieter. And bear in mind the monsoon moves across the country, breaking in Kerala in May and then moving northeast across the country, so it should be possible to plan your trip to avoid it - or like author Alexander Frater, who wrote the wonderful Chasing The Monsoon, to follow it. There are many regional variations, and weather patterns have become less predictable in recent years.

JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER
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Essential Experiences

We’ve rounded up our list of recommended sites and things to do. Click on the map to enlarge it and see what we suggest or follow the links in the list to discover how to get the best out of your holiday.


Practical Information

Capital Capital - New Delhi

Size - 3, 287, 590 sq km

Language - The official language is Hindi but there are over a dozen other official languages, including Punjabi, Bengali and Urdu. English is the language of business and spoken widely.

Population - 1.22 billion people - and growing fast. It is estimated that there are about 50 births in India in a minute.

Religion - predominantly Hindu (over 80 per cent), although India is also home to the second largest Muslim population in the world. There are also Sikh, Christian and Buddhist minorities.

Currency - Indian Rupee (rs) = 100 paise

Time zone - GMT +5.5 hours

Flight time - Approximately 8 hours 30 minutes to New Delhi.

Festivals

Among the many highlights is Holi, the Festival of Colours, in March. It's great fun, with people throwing coloured powder and water at each other, although it can get rather rowdy. Wear old clothes, and sunglasses to protect the eyes if you want to join in the fun of this spring festival. Be aware that the consumption of bhang (cannabis) laced drink and food is a wide-spread part of proceedings and has certainly added to the reputation of this festival as an intoxicating one.

Diwali, which usually falls between mid-October and mid-November, is celebrated with particular enthusiasm in northern India, with fireworks being lit, together with candles and oil lamps, making this five-day festival a beautifully atmospheric one.

The colourful Camel Fair in Pushkar is also held in October or November, bringing traders, farmers, villagers and livestock together from all over Rajasthan.

Visas

Please note that entry requirements and visa regulations can change often and at short notice. We can provide general information about the passport and visa requirements for your trip and this information may be included after the itinerary section of your quotation. Your specific passport and visa requirements and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. Neither we nor the principal(s) or supplier(s) accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements. Please call your WEXAS specialist if you wish to discuss entry requirements.

Passport requirements

Passports need to be valid for six months from the date you are due to leave India.

Money

Rupees are divided into 100 paise. Coins are minted in denominations of 50 paise, RS 1, Rs 2, and Rs 5; while notes are printed in denominations of Rs 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000. It can be difficult to use worn notes, so refuse any damaged notes when you are given them.

It is not possible to purchase Rupees before arriving in India. Try ATMs at the airport if available if you need cash on arrival, or the airport bank, although rates at the latter are not favourable. In cities, the State Bank of India and several others are authorized to deal in foreign exchange and offer better rates of exchange than large hotels, though these do offer a 24-hour service.

ATMs are available all over India, with Cirrus, Maestro as well as Visa and MasterCard generally accepted. Withdrawal fees are often charged, and sometimes fraud prevention measures result in travellers having their cards blocked when unexpected overseas transactions occur, so advise your bank before travelling. Credit cards and Traveller's Cheques by reputable companies are widely accepted. 

Regions [15]

Click on a place name below to find out more. Alternatively, to start planning where to go in India, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0613.

Goa

Goa is known for its idyllic beaches, outstanding monuments and great places to stay.

India Wildlife Reserves and National Parks

India is rich in natural splendour, blessed with an amazing variety of flora and fauna, the likes of which inpsired Rudyard Kipling to create the magical Jungle Book. India has a diverse wildlife base that is the second largest in the world and currently boasts 80 …

Kerala

Kerala. The name means ‘Land of Coconuts', but it's perhaps better known as ‘God's Own Country': a landscape of endless palm groves, relaxed rivers, emerald backwaters, dream beaches and exotic cuisine.

Luxury trains

Travelling on India's luxury trains is an ideal way to explore the country without sacrificing style and comfort. Rattle over the rails on a romantic, glamorous journey, enjoying regal service and arrive at a new destination to explore the following morning.

Mumbai

Mumbai is India's fulcrum of business, fashion and Bollywood filmmaking, a mega metropolis built around shopping, glitz and glamour.

Palace stays and historic hotels

There are a number of spectacular palace hotels and historic places to stay throughout India. Once home to India's royalty, the buildings have been converted into accommodation to preserve their existence, meaning that you can now stay and experience firsthand how …

Rajasthan

Rajasthan was once a land of royalty and today revels in its regal past. Scores of forts and palaces loom from the arid desert sands, along with cities as colourful as their brightly swathed locals, who fill the streets in dazzling fabric outfits.

The Golden Triangle

The classic golden triangle is India's most popular tourist circuit and a perfect introduction to the magic of the country.

The Himalaya

The Himalaya is the world's greatest mountain range, a 1800-mile mass of white-tipped peaks and valleys that runs from Afghanistan to the border of south-west China. This 'abode of snow' that lies along the edge of the Tibetan Plateau and is enclosed by the Indus and …

Varanasi

Ancient Varanasi is dominated by the stone ghats, which line the sacred River Ganges, drawing pilgrims from across the world who come for their daily ritual ablutions.


Itinerary ideas [42]

The itinerary ideas listed below are designed to give you a flavour of the things to do in India. We can adjust any element and tailor-make your trip though, to suit your individual needs and available time. To start planning your trip, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0613.

Regal Rajasthan

History & culture Wildlife City

The state of Rajasthan is India at its most colourful, a region of ornate royal palaces, traffic-choked cities, bustling markets and stunning national parks …

India’s jungles and cities

Safari Wildlife Natural world

This wildlife tour takes in the best national parks in India, tracking wildlife and in pursuit of the majestic tiger which you can still spot in the wild in …

Royal Rajasthan

From £2145 pp incl. flights
History & culture City Wildlife

India is dazzling, sometimes dumbfounding, multidimensional destination of contrasting cultures, cutting edge cities, traditional villages, ancient temples, …

Andaman Islands Explorer

From £1495 pp incl. flights
Beach History & culture Natural world

Welcome to India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a stunning archipelago of 572 tropical islands, 1,000 kilometres from the Indian mainland in the heart of the …

Rajasthan luxury train journey

From £2795 pp incl. flights
Rail journey History & culture Wildlife

Rajasthan's Palace on Wheels luxury train exudes traditiona Indian opulence, style and comfort, modelled on the luxurious railway cars of old with richly …

The Maharajas Express - Gems of India

Safari Rail journey History & culture

The Maharajas Express is the latest word in luxury train travel in India. In a country renowned for its majestic opulence, this palace on wheels is the perfect …

Beaches and Backwaters of Kerala

History & culture River cruise Wildlife

Kerala, on India's tropical southwest coast is India at its most laid back. A green and verdant strip of land with a perfect climate and smiling, welcoming …

Grand Tour of the North and South

History & culture City Wildlife

Enjoy three weeks exploring all that India has to offer, from the north to the south, lifting the lid on the Subcontinent’s many cultures, climates, costumes …

India’s national parks

Wildlife Natural world Safari

This tour explores the wilderness of four of India’s finest national parks, namely Gir, Kanha, Pench and Kaziranga. Admire the rich variety of wildlife that …

Splendours of North India with Oberoi Hotels

Natural world History & culture Wildlife

North India is alive with colour, history and culture. Around every corner you'll find fascinating temples, towering forts, glittering palaces and bustling …

Treasures of Rajasthan with Taj Hotels

From £2938 pp incl. flights
Wildlife History & culture

When people think of India, its more often than not the guilded palaces, multicoloured cities and extravagant temples of Rajasthan that first spring to …

Captivating Kerala

From £2275 pp incl. flights
History & culture Wildlife Natural world

Kerala, known as God's Own Country, is a beautiful land of rivers, backwaters and beaches on India's palm-fringed southwest coast. Between Kerala's golden …

The Maharajas Express - India Splendour

Travel across India in style on the Maharajas Express, a train experience as opulent and luxurious as the palaces that inspired it. Experience service and …

Rajasthan Cycling

Legendary landmarks, secluded villages, every colour you can imagine (and then some) – Rajasthan is a place best viewed up-close. A great opportunity for …

Best of Southern India

From steamy Kerala backwaters and spice plantations to incredible temples and searching for tigers in the wild, have your camera ready as you experience the …

Essential India

From the intricate saris of Rajasthan to the beautiful symmetry of the Taj Mahal, this compact journey is a photographer's delight and the perfect introduction …

Delhi to Kathmandu Adventure

If you’re looking to experience the diversity of India and Nepal, this 15-day trip contrasts the colourful culture of India with the pristine serenity of …

Down the Ganges

What can you do with 15 days in India? Oh, this and that… Start with whitewater rafting in the foothills of the Himalayas and a visit to the Taj Mahal, a …

Golden Triangle

This compact Indian journey will introduce you to three very different northern cities and the colourful rural life of Rajasthan. From the hectic pace of Delhi …

India Encompassed

From the beautiful symmetry of the Taj Mahal to the unforgettable backwaters of Kerala, this comprehensive Indian journey is a photographer's delight. Walk …

Incredible India

If you’re looking for a taste of India’s world-class highlights but still want to explore some of its hidden gems, this action-packed adventure serves up a …

Rajasthan Adventure

Travelling through Rajasthan is like walking through a kaleidoscope. Everywhere you look, colours dance before your eyes—from saris drying on riverbeds to the …

Spiritual India

Religion and spiritual thought have ranked among India’s greatest exports since the dawn of recorded history: Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism all originated …

Tigers, Temples & Wildlife Adventure

Have your camera at the ready as you hit three parks in 14 days for the best chance to see the elusive tiger in its natural habitat. From the scrublands of …

Varanasi Experience

A perfect add-on to any trip to India, explore the mystical and holy Hindu city of Varanasi. Take a memorable sunset and sunrise boat trip down the Ganges River …

India Explorer

Walking through Delhi’s markets, you realize that India’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced—its kaleidoscope of culture and colour has burnt itself …

Highlights of South India

Compared to the North, southern India is a different place working on a different pace. But you don't need to devote a month to get here; this compact trip …

North India Highlights

Home to the Taj Majal, Delhi's Jama Masjid Mosque, and the 'Pink City' of Jaipur, this area is known as the Golden Triangle for a reason. But adventurous …

Land of the Maharajas

Legend has it that colour film was invented specifically to capture the vibrancy of India. (Okay, we made that up, but still.) This adventure offers a look at …

Highlights of India

North India or South? Do both! This 2-week tour combines the riot of Rajasthan’s colours with the calming greens of Kerala. You'll have time to immerse …

Golden Triangle - Delhi, Agra & Jaipur

Spend six days traversing the famed Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Explore the sites of hectic Delhi and onto Agra to marvel at the majestic Taj …

Beaches & Backwaters

Watch the sunset through the fishing nets of Kochi, stretch out on white-sand beaches, drift through the tranquil backwaters and rise at dawn to see the …

Delhi to Kathmandu Yolo Adventure

India is less a place to see than a place to do and this fast-paced 15-day tour ensures you live every moment to the fullest. With other youthful travellers, …

India on a Shoestring

From the monuments of Delhi to the colourful cities of Rajasthan, experience three weeks of northern India's best. Marvel at Jaisalmer's mud fortress and …

Discover India - Delhi to Kochi

From the hectic pace of northern Delhi to the beaches of Goa and the fishing nets of relaxed Kochi, this epic journey packages the subcontinent’s highlights …

Uncover India - Delhi to Goa

For travellers on a budget who are after an experience full of the very best India has to offer, this tour showcases man-made wonders and natural marvels …

India Family Adventure

There’s no place on Earth as colourful as India. Don’t believe us? Come see for yourself! Your family will witness the full spectrum over these 11 busy …

Places to stay [29]

The places to stay listed below only represent a handful of the accommodation options available in India. We can also recommend and arrange accommodation to suit your personal tastes and budget. To start planning where to stay in India, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0613.

The Oberoi Udaivilas

Deluxe

What does Deluxe mean

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WEXAS accommodation rating

  • EXCEPTIONAL: Ultra-luxury hotels that look to redefine the boundaries of experience, service and facilities (typically higher than 5 stars)
  • DELUXE: Outstanding accommodation with top-of-the-range facilities and excellent service, usually in a fantastic location (typically 5 stars)
  • SUPERIOR: A higher standard of accommodation with a better range and quality of facilities, often in a good location (typically 4 stars)
  • STANDARD: A good standard of clean and comfortable accommodation with a reasonable range of facilities (typically 3 stars)
  • BASIC: Simple accommodation with limited facilities that can be in remote areas where accommodation is extremely limited (typically 1 or 2 stars).
£££££

What does this price mean

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WEXAS price guide

£££££ typically more than £400 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £400 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £300 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £200 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £100 per room per night

Note that hotel rates can vary widely depending on factors such as season

History & culture City Romance

Set in 30 acres, The Oberoi Udaivilas is nothing short of palatial. A pristine version of an original Rajasthani Mewari moated palace, with landscaped terraces …

The Leela, Goa

The Leela, Goa resembles a combination of Indian summer palaces and Portuguese-style villas, tastefully furnished with fixtures of marble and granite. Sprawled …

The Oberoi, New Delhi

The hotel reflects the capital city’s spirit in a harmonious blend of tradition and contemporary sophistication. Recognised as a pioneer amongst luxury hotels …

The Oberoi Rajvilas

Set in 32 acres of landscaped gardens with thepink city of Jaipur as its backdrop, the Oberoi Rajvilas is the India of ones imagination – dusted down, …

The Oberoi Amarvilas

The Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra is a Moorish and Moghul fantasy in the shadow of the Taj Mahal. Turbaned bellhops greet guests at the entrance, leading them to a …

The Oberoi Vanyavilas

Renowned as one of the finest properties in India, the Oberoi Vanyavilas offers unparalleled, personalised service and luxury, tented accommodation on the edge …

The Maharajas Express - India Splendour

Travel across India in style on the Maharajas Express, a train experience as opulent and luxurious as the palaces that inspired it. Experience service and …

Ananda in the Himalayas

A world-class luxury spa situated in the picturesque foothills of the Himalayas. combining amazing guided hikes on mountain paths and wild elephant viewing in …

The Claridges, New Delhi

Graceful architecture, elegant décor, and a seamless blend of old-world charm and contemporary facilities have made The Claridges, New Delhi one of the best …

Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

When greeted with a shower of rose petals on arrival, you can see why this is one of Indias most famous and romantic hotels. The 250- year-old summer palace is …

Rajasthan with Taj Hotels

Rajasthan is a colourful kingdom of palaces and pageantry, giant gold sandcastles, sunkissed desert and bustling markets. This tenday tour allows you to …

Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

Perched high above the desert capital of Jodhpur, Umaid Bhawan Palace is the last of the great palaces of India. Completed in 1943, it remains the residence of …

Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

In the finest tradition of Rajput hospitality, the Rambagh Palace offers guests a taste of royal living – a luxury and extravagance that was once the sole …

Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad

One of the most magnificent of the Indian royal palaces has been lovingly restored and has just opened its doors after a 10 year refurbishment. This former …

The Taj Mahal Hotel - New Delhi

This local landmark in New Delhi’s historic city centre is the place to stay if you’re a foreign dignitary – or if you’d like to be treated as one. …

Gateway Hotel, Agra

Located in the city of Agra in the north-Indian state Uttar Pradesh, the Gateway Hotel features 100 stylish rooms and suites, first-class service and the …

Vivanta by Taj Malabar, Kochi

Situated on Willingdon Island with a magnificent view of Kochi harbour, the Vivanta by Taj Malabar combines old-world elegance with modern day convenience. In …

Vivanta by Taj Kumarakom, Kerala

Once the site of a charming 19th century colonial bungalow, Vivanta by Taj Kumarakom sits amidst a verdant tropical garden on the banks of Vembanad Lake, …

Vivanta by Taj Green Cove, Kovalam

Set on a beautiful hillside, just a stones throw from one of Kerala's finest beaches and within touching distance of the backwaters that characterise this …

SwaSwara, Om Beach, Gokarna, India

Located on a cliff top overlooking Om beach, just three hours from Goa, SwaSwara (derived from the Sanskrit for ‘sound of the self’) is set among 26 acres …

Coconut Lagoon Resort, Kerala

Coconut Lagoon is situatued at about 78 kms from Cochin, hidden among the palm trees on the eastern shore of lake Vembanad at the mouth of the Kavanar River, …

Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kerala

When the serene, blue-green beauty of Kerala’s ‘backwaters’ began to attract Western travellers a decade or so ago, a rash of new resorts sprang up in the …

Spice Village, Periyar

Set in the heart of the Cardamom hills of Kerala, Spice Village is offers an opportunity to enjoy South India’s wildlife & beauty. The Village lies just …

Le Meridien, Kochi

Nestled amongst 25 acres of coconut groves and backwater rivers, Le Méridien Kochi sits at the heart of one of India’s most naturally beautiful cities. …

Park Hyatt Goa Resort & Spa

The Park Hyatt Goa has a village atmosphere with stylish rooms set in clusters throughout the 45-acre resort. All rooms are furnished with natural earthy …

Samode Haveli, Jaipur

A majestic old mansion tucked away in the heart of the old city - gardens, courtyards and terraces abound.A haveli is a grand house with inner courtyards built …

Wildflower Hall, Shimla

Situated at 8,250 feet in the magnificent Himalayas, Wildflower Hall is a fairytale luxury resort set in 22 acres of virgin woods of pine and cedar. The former …

The Oberoi Cecil, Shimla

Over 100 years old, The Oberoi Cecil is a Grand Heritage Hotel. It is situated at Chaura Maidan, Shimla, 7000 feet up in the Himalayas. A celebration of the …

The Leela Kempinski Kovalam Beach

This hotel has an unrivalled position on the cliff face with panoramic views of the famous Kovalam coastline. Choose from Garden or Sea View Pavilion Rooms at …

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